Higher Education Tuition and Fees in China: Implications and Impacts on Affordability and Educational Equity
Students in China are being shouldered with more financial responsibility for their higher education. This shift impacts individuals across the economic spectrum in different ways. This paper assesses recent trends in China's higher education tuition and fees, and the implications on educational equity. Results document substantial increases in tuition and fees since 1996. China's policies have caused costs to rise to the point where they now exceed the abilities of many individuals to pay. As a consequence, many lower income families find it impossible to afford higher education without assistance. Recently, the government began increasing financial assistance to low-income families. This has resulted in some relative improvements. While progress has been noteworthy, it will be important for the Chinese government to continue reforming student subsidy programs and student loans policies in order to foster more equal access for capable students from all economic backgrounds.